Sport’s big hiatus so unfamiliar to us all

Runners from around the world compete in an 800m heat at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. 

A world without sport, don’t be ridiculous. I would have scoffed at you had you proposed it to me a few months ago.

Heck, I may have even called you an idiot, or even just simply laughed it off.

So wrapped up in our day to day lives.. we lose track of how vulnerable we really are as human beings, we don’t ever entertain the idea that anything can ever be taken away from us – until it is.

Is it possible that we take these everyday normalities, like sport, or even just the general luxuries for granted? Absolutely, but it’s taken experience for us to come to that understanding through the outbreak of COVID-19.

The enormity of this virus has caught the world napping, and now a significant amount of people are suffering in more ways than one, whether it be health, financial or mental wellbeing.

It certainly caught me off-guard, I was ignorant about it when news of the virus first arose, I believed it didn’t affect me, I’m 24 years-old, healthy and pretty diligent in keeping myself that way.

“You can’t stop living, and just put your life on hold,” is what I defiantly said to mum one morning when discussing the virus, before it had engulfed news everywhere and forced people into financial downfall.

How selfish of me.

It only took a moment of self-assessment for me to realise that I was indeed way off the mark, and my negligence could lead to someone else getting sick, who may be even more vulnerable than I am.

This current situation is so foreign to us, and we need to be dedicated in getting it right, and possibly sacrifice six months of our life, in order to ensure there is a bright tomorrow.

If there is one thing that this unforeseen time has done, it’s really highlighted one aspect, we’re all just human – it’s stripped us right back to our most basic identity.

This virus doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a uni student or Michael Jordan, a retail worker or Elton John – we are all equally at risk of illness, regardless of our social standing in life, the virus doesn’t care.

Sure, everyone’s version of isolation looks different, and the financial struggle for some is greater than others.

However, never have people in the world shared more in common, that being the united battle against COVID-19.

I mentioned earlier about the luxuries in life that we usually just consider as normalities.

I was walking through the mall the other day, two teenage girls, presumably friends, saw each other and naturally, they hugged, which resulted in an unimpressed older lady berating them about how ridiculous it was for them to do this in such desperate times.

She screamed “SOCIAL DISTANCING!”, before demonstrating the length of 1.5m with outstretched arms.

It made me stop and think about how unreal society currently is.

Coffee with a friend on a day off is nothing special normally, but my goodness, how special does it seem now that we can’t enjoy it?

The roar of a crowd when a goal is scored is just well, normal, but without it the silence is deafening – it doesn’t feel the same and we don’t like it.

Is it just me or is this the weirdest the world has ever felt?

Everything in the sporting landscape has essentially been put on hold.

This week Wimbledon was cancelled.. and it’s not even groundbreaking news, it’s just accepted. How crazy is that?

It’s the first time it’s been cancelled since World War II, and most people don’t really care – because the other issue at large is so much more important, and so it should be.

Imagine telling someone last year that the 2020 Olympics would not happen, that they would just be postponed? You would’ve struggled to imagine how.

It would have been hard to fathom at the time, yet it’s an even harder reality now.

It really does suck. But, it’s so insignificant when you consider it’s people’s lives we are talking about here, sport can be postponed, and this virus is here now.

We will see the Olympics and Wimbledon return, as they did after the war and so too other world sporting competitions like the NBA, EPL and closer to home, the AFL.

In a time like this not everyone will abide by the correct procedures, those that don’t either think they are immune to it through pure ignorance or they just simply don’t care.

I believe that if you can get 80-90% of people to do the right thing then that’s a realistic outcome, whether or not that is enough for this particular narrative, who knows.

It’s been simply amazing though to see people from all around the world trying to unite to keep COVID-19 at bay, and it takes me back to what I said before relating to how we are all just human.

In a world where people are so focused on only the daily affairs in their own lives, it’s not often that you get to see a large amount of the world’s population working toward the same goal, together, regardless of who you are.

When this is over, perhaps we’ll be a more appreciative society that doesn’t take the small things for granted that make our life well… life.

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